B2B Trending Conversations: Gamification is serious B2B strategy

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Welcome back to another edition of B2B Conversations, wherein we bring you a roundup of what’s trending on social media in a particular area of interest or specialization in the B2B space. This week we’re all about gamification, from CallidusCloud’s big acquisition of Badgeville to workplace applications for gamification and more. Yes, there’s even the seemingly obligatory Pokemon Go story — one that can teach us a lesson or two about the B2B buyer journey. Ready? Let’s play!

CallidusCloud Acquires Badgeville

CallidusCloud, a global leader in cloud-based sales, marketing, learning and customer experience solutions, has acquired part of Badgeville, the leading technology provider in enterprise gamification and digital motivation, for a reported $7.5 million.

“Badgeville is the leader in a very exciting market,” CallidusCloud CEO Leslie Stretch said in a press release announcing the deal. “Digital motivation goes hand in hand with cash incentive programs, and we have been partnering with Badgeville since 2012 to drive sales performance and enablement solutions. We will now be able to extend this powerful proposition to all of our customers across the Lead to Money spectrum.”

Badgeville CEO Jon Shalowitz added that “corporations will be better positioned than ever to drive engagement with key customer and employee processes” now that his company will be part of CallidusCloud.

Gamification and Sales

CallidusCloud content marketing director Chris Bucholtz urges sales managers to think carefully about the implementation of gamification strategies within their organizations. Compensation is key — as Bucholtz writes, “no right-thinking sales pro is going to work for tokens on his personal scoreboard.” However, striking the right balance between adequate monetary compensation and gamification is crucial. Also, gamification rules are always changing and management must maintain a training regimen that empowers their sales team to be as up-to-date and effective as possible.

Workplace Applications for Gamification

How is gamification being used to supercharge the enterprise workplace? If we start by defining gamification as “human-focused design,” as described by gamification guru Yu Kai Chou, then we realize workforce optimization must be geared toward maximizing human performance by taking into account feelings, motivations, and engagement. Jason Hassler at Intelliverse notes that gamification is utilized by sales managers to motivate participation, engagement and loyalty with sales teams. “Game mechanics can be applied across a spectrum of real life activities, and to achieve many different types of goals within a business environment,” writes Chou. “At its core, gamification centers on engaging and motivating people to certain behaviors; and has the capacity to enhance teamwork, build trust among people and encourage creativity.”

Benefits of Gamification for B2B Marketers

Cormac Reynolds at B2B Marketing details five benefits gamification can bring to your marketing business. It empowers marketers to gather powerful customer data, solves complex business problems through crowdsourcing, better engages and educates customers and remains relevant to your customers. Reynolds says it’s also a great way to give back. “In order to improve your position and attract a healthy group of customers constantly, you will be required to give back to communities,” he writes.

 …And the inevitable Pokemon Go analogy

There’s no avoiding Pokemon Go as engaged players from a wide cross-section of demographics eagerly rush to “catch them all.” But beyond the latest video game craze lie important lessons for B2B marketers. Steve McOrmond, content marketing manager at Toronto-based LookBookHQ, compares the B2B buyer journey with Pokemon Go and concludes that marketers must cultivate the same sort of immediacy of engagement that’s made the augmented reality game such a smashing success. Marketers should never forget that their buyers didn’t choose to play their game. “They really just want to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible with the minimum of fuss,” asserts McOrmond. “If we’re going to accelerate the funnel, we need to make the process of buyer education as easy and frictionless as possible.”

If you missed last week’s installment of B2B Conversations by Sarah Dawley, head here to check it out. As always, if you have any B2B content or ideas you think we should focus on next week, let us know via @b2bnewsnetwork. We love hearing from you, and we’ll see you again next Wednesday!

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.